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Kamiji leads Japan into arena

Motoki Nakashima/The Yomiuri Shimbun

Members of Japan’s delegation enter the Maracana Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Rio Paralympic Games on Wednesday.

The Yomiuri Shimbun RIO DE JANEIRO — With a huge Hinomaru national flag attached to her wheelchair, 22-year-old wheelchair tennis player Yui Kamiji led the Japanese delegation into the Rio Paralympic Games opening ceremony on Wednesday.

Kamiji was followed by about 120 Japanese athletes and officials as they marched into the Maracana Stadium waving smaller flags.

Paralympians from around the world will compete in 528 events across 22 sports, including the newly added canoe sprint and triathlon, during the 12-day event. There will be 132 Japanese athletes competing in 17 sports.

Japan was the 82nd team to march into the stadium. The Japanese athletes, all dressed in white jackets and wearing blue ties, enthusiastically waved their flags to show their appreciation for the cheers pouring down from the stands.

“I want them to see my best running and jumping performances,” said Atsushi Yamamoto, 34, who is aiming for the gold in the long jump event for athletes with prostheses.Speech

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    As the audience’s countdown reaches zero, American wheelchair motocross racer Aaron Wheelz launches himself through a huge “0” at the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Wheelchair tennis star Yui Kamiji of Japan carries the Hinomaru national flag at the opening ceremony.

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    The final torch-bearer, Clodoaldo Silva of Brazil, raises the flame high after igniting the cauldron amid pouring rain.

  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Samba musicians play during a performance with wheelchairs.

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